iPhone Market Share Drops In U.S., China

The market share of iPhones in the United States and China have dropped, according to a Forbes report.

The report notes a 0.8 percent drop in market share of the iPhone in the United States from January 2016 to February 2016, the months leading up to the release of the iPhone SE. In total, the iPhone went from a U.S. market share of 39.1 percent in January 2016 to 38.3 percent in February of this year.

Forbes‘ Chuck Jones said the drop in market share for the iPhone is not necessarily uncommon or worrisome.

“This is significantly less than what the company has experienced the past four iPhone cycles of 3.6% in February 2012 and December 2012, 4.7% in January 2014 and 4.9% in January 2015,” Jones reported.

He stated that while the drop in iPhone market share in the United States was small compared to other periods of decline, the overall decline in market share is drastic. The phone has gone from more than 50 percent of all smartphones on the market to less than 40 percent in the United States, Jones reported.

“Going back to the iPhone 4S the high point for the 4S market share was 50.6% in January 2012. The iPhone’s highest market share was 53.3% in November 2012 after the iPhone 5 was introduced. Over the next three iPhone cycles the peak market shares have been 43.9% in December 2013 for the 5c and 5s, 47.7% in December 2014 for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and now 39.1% for the 6s and 6s Plus.”

The hope is that the iPhone SE will attract more budget-conscience consumers and lead to a rise in iPhone market share in not only the United States, but in other countries, too. Take China, for instance. In China, more and more people have joined the middle class. With a rise in economic status also comes a rise in discretionary spending. But that does not always mean consumers will drop large amounts of cash on items like an iPhone when other competitors are on the market.

iPhone Market Share Drops In U.S., China
From February 2015 to February 2016, the iPhone lost 3.2 percent of market share coming in at just 22.2 percent of the Chinese market behind Huawei at 24.4 percent of the Chinese market, Forbes reported.

In the ever-competitive smartphone market, it is important for Apple to be on the forefront of technology and accessories to maintain its current iPhone market share and hopefully grow against competition from HTC, Samsung, and others.

Expert Reviews notes that Apple could introduce wireless EarPods for its devices with the expected iPhone 7 release later this year. Using the bluetooth-enabled EarPods would allow the iPhone to go wireless and, as expected, waterproof. That said, there have been no confirmations that a waterproof iPhone is in the works, though numerous industry blogs continue to point to design features like the wireless EarPods that hint at a waterproof device.

Beyond improvements to the device’s appearance and possible waterproofing, Apple is expected to also work on better encryption after the FBI was able to hack into an iPhone used by one of the alleged shooters in the San Bernardino terror attack.

Techno Buffalo said Apple may have considered suing the FBI for accessing the iPhone through hacking, but has decided against such action.

“Now it’s all about protecting privacy, no matter who owns the phone.

“So why not sue the FBI for breaking into its products? Apple says that technique won’t work on its newer phones. This probably isn’t the last we’ll hear on the topic, though.”

iPhone Market Share Drops In U.S., China
Despite the anger that has risen by some over Apple’s refusal to help crack the phone, the company appears to be doubling down in its efforts to thwart the United States government or anyone else from accessing the backend of its phones. It is unknown how this could help or hurt the company, but you may want to check back here after the iPhone 7 has been on the market for a few months to see where the iPhone market share stands.

[Image by Cole Bennetts/Getty Images]